This is a Premium feature
Chestfeeding book from Australian Breastfeeding Association(53 Posts)
The article below is in today's The Australian.
"People who “chestfeed” are the target of a new transgender-inclusive guide from the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
The booklet, fruit of a two-year $20,000 project with the LGBTQ+ group Rainbow Families, also details how biological males who identify as female can chemically induce “human milk feeding”.
Conflict within the ABA has sharpened as a group of activists among the 1100-plus breastfeeding counsellors has met resistance from women who insist the organisation must not be diverted from its mother-centred mission.
One counsellor critical of the new booklet, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing the threat of complaints and disciplinary hearings, said the majority of the organisation’s members “have no idea that this is going on”.
“(They) identify very strongly as mothers, and value and love the single-sex space — the mother-to-mother space that the association has always provided,” she said.
The Queer Theory-influenced publication “undermines breastfeeding and mothers, and science and female biology, and mother-to-mother support, she said.
“It opens the door to biological males to participate in ‘human milk feeding’ with babies, and babies deserve better than that.”
Biological males who identify as trans women may be taking cross-sex hormones, treatment to suppress their natural testosterone, as well as the chemicals to induce lactation, and the health effects of this are unclear.
The association’s senior manager for breastfeeding information and research, Naomi Hull, said the booklet — titled Breastfeeding, Chestfeeding And Human Milk Feeding — used language tailored to the LGBTQ+ community.
The term “breastfeeding” is said to trigger the bodily discomfort of biological females who identify as men.
The prize-winning TransHub website, run by ACON, says: “Being pregnant is also not a thing that women can do, it’s a thing that people can do. Being pregnant or the ability to become pregnant doesn’t define your gender in any way, only you get to do that.”
Ms Hull said the booklet drew on “available evidence whilst encouraging parents to seek advice from their healthcare provider”.
Information aimed at a nationwide audience “continues to use the language we have always used (with) pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers”, she said.
Rainbow Families and ACON did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
There is disagreement within the association whether the booklet will “ring-fence” or serve as a bridgehead for the activist language that has made deep inroads into the global breastfeeding body La Leche League International, which operates in more than 70 countries.
Several hospitals in Britain earlier this year formally implemented a gender-inclusive language policy in maternity service departments, which are now known as “peri-natal services”.
Staff at those hospitals were told to use “birthing parent”, “chestfeeding” and “father or second biological parent”.
Another counsellor, speaking anonymously, said there was pressure coming from North America. She said the “human milk feeding” term popularised by La Leche was part of a trend dehumanising women and disembodying breastfeeding.
Institutions across society are wrestling with dilemmas created by activist campaigns under the banner of diversity and inclusivity.
The anonymous ABA volunteer said a trans-inclusive focus was putting at risk the values of the organisation and the needs of tens of thousands of women, especially those with poor literacy or migrants who would be confused by arcane terminology.
“(If the association is captured) the real world effect will be that the (infant) formula industry will win because normal Australian mothers will look at the ABA and say, you’re not there for me, I don’t speak your language,” the volunteer said.
BERNARD LANEROVING EDITOR, LEADER WRITER, DATA JOURNALIST
Details how males...can chemically induce human milk feeding? This is so wrong.
Mothers struggle with days of Labour and then have to get up every 3 hours to feed a baby to keep it alive. Breast milk changes to meet the needs of the baby. Mothers are broken and ravaged by the demands of breastfeeding. So why did they not promote this for all fathers to feed their babies in order to take the strain off mothers? Maybe because it’s a terrible plan and not sustainable or in the best interests of the baby. And it’s not about helping females - even with the breastfeeding group it’s about the rights and wants of males.
I don’t understand why certain people have a problem with the word Breast. Men have breasts. Men get breast cancer. Even Shakespeare referred to a man’s breast. Breast is a perfectly gender neutral word.
the real world effect will be that the (infant) formula industry will win because normal Australian mothers will look at the ABA and say, you’re not there for me, I don’t speak your language,” the volunteer said.
This is so true.
I don’t know how these organisations don’t realise that moving from being exclusively about mother to mother support for mothering through breastfeeding they are abandoning their mission statements and the core group of mothers who they were aiming to support.
In order to possibly make 2-3 transmen more comfortable and facilitate something quite dubious for an unknown but likely small number of transwomen they are willing to alienate perhaps tens of thousands of women. 305,832 live births in Australia in 2019, 640, 370 in the UK in 2019 according to a Times article 3 transmen have given birth in the UK ever. For those 3 how many women should be confused, belittled, alienated and put off seeking support.
I have heard that there are great divisions in La Leche League over this change of language.
I imagine that at some point a separate group will emerge committed to women’s language in plain English and committed to placing the mother-baby dyad at the centre of the organisation and family life and formed by members from all the various breastfeeding organisations, none of which are currently taking a firm line standing up for mothers and babies.
“ I imagine that at some point a separate group will emerge committed to women’s language in plain English and committed to placing the mother-baby dyad at the centre of the organisation and family life and formed by members from all the various breastfeeding organisations, none of which are currently taking a firm line standing up for mothers and babies.”
I want to do this but feel so ham strung and exhausted at the thought of fighting to keep sex based language.
Absolute rubbish - and that money could do so many good things. But it doesn’t seem to be about doing ‘good’ things though does it?
It would be interesting to see the language written through the book. Is it additive language or has it been completely dehumanized?
And promoting males ‘human milk feeding’ is deplorable considering lack of robust research due to the ethics of submitting a human baby to the chemicals and hormones in the male’s body. And if they are suppressing testosterone, or the suppression is not quite what it should be, what effect will testosterone have on infant girls?
No, to include induced male human milk feeding is drastically irresponsible. And cruel if it gives a male person hope that it is safe for the infant. Because, surely any male wanting to do this would want only what is best for the baby and would put aside their wants. And surely, they would only want to do this for the baby’s sake and nothing else.
Good on Bernard Lane for continuing to shine a light on this though.
And thanks OP for sharing.
OP when’s there’s enough breastfeeding counsellors, a critical mass will form and the work will seem overwhelming when shared out.
Once the resources for the existing organisations have all been translated into newspeak many breastfeeding counsellors will find it impossible to continue in good conscience. I predict they will leave in droves. Some will surely seek each other out to create something new for mothers and babies. Currently, as you say in your OP, many are unaware and those who are find that they are able to continue using woman, mother, father, breastfeeding and other traditional and widely understood terms in their local groups and day to day supporting situations. The storm is coming but it hasn’t quite hit yet.
Will seem less overwhelming when shared out I meant to say in my first paragraph!
It was a relief to even see the questioning tone in that article - when I saw it was Australian my first thought was it was going to be affirming it all. How offensive.
Interesting point that it's all an American way of thinking spreading over the world. Had the misfortune last night to see on Twitter a black American congresswoman refer to HERSELF and others as 'black birthing bodies' then get upset with people calling it out. The national pro-life org NARAL supported her by tweeting how 'birthing people' is inclusive because it's not only 'cis women' who give birth. Arguments underneath descended into a disturbing amount of people saying men can give birth because trans men are men and it's nothing to do with biology. It's insane and is just getting worse.
I noticed a similar debate on ovarit about dehumanising language recently.
From that debate a question arose
We are told that transmen are more comfortable being known as pregnant people, birthing people, gestational carriers, birthing bodies, lactators and menstruators rather than mothers or women.
We haven’t been told that transwomen feel more comfortable being referred to as pregnating people, inseminating people, impregnators, sperm producers, inseminators, ejaculators rather than fathers.
I wonder why?
It is my understanding that there is considerable dissent about newspeak in breastfeeding support groups even in the USA. There are also doulas and midwives in the USA taking a stand.
Check out the podcast whose body is it by an American doula, also the website full cream milk.
I don’t believe this is for the benefit of trans men. I think it’s just another ploy by TRA’s to take more away from women than they already have.
Those yelling loudest for this seem bit to be trans people at all. It’s like those who shout for banning ‘Christmas’ are often doing so on the unfounded basis that ‘it might offend the Muslims’ (which it doesn’t).
I wish they’d put their energies into helping the homeless, raising money for refuges, supporting families in need, helping out in local hospices, mucking out in the local dog and cat home...
True, toffee, it appeared as if plenty of the 'men can give birth' brigade on Twitter last night were young women, which is sad enough.
They are just being sheep. If they gave it one minute of honest thought...
I don't understand why men who want to induce lactation and "breastfeed" aren't reported to social services and investigated.
From a medical point of view this is likely to be harmful to the baby and at best is unresearched, involving exposing the baby to a cocktail of drugs plus I don't believe the "milk" induced could in any way be adequate in quantity or quality. Thus the baby is likely to be unhappy, and underfed unless it is given supplementary feeds.
Then there are the social aspects - I believe a man prioritising his demand to breastfeed the baby is likely to, at the least, be coercively controlling his wife, removing the baby from her, not allowing her to breastfeed or at least not fully. Many/most/probably all are fetishising breastfeeding and treating the baby as an accessory to their fetish. The baby is at risk in a variety of ways.
There are so many flapping red flags 🚩 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩, I've only touched on the broad issues.
Doctors who enable this by prescribing the necessary drugs should be reported as well, they clearly need their safeguarding and child protection training updating.
The whole thing needs flaming imo. It's just so depressing that yet again child protection goes out of the window.
I haven't worked as a midwife for twenty years but if I did a home visit and found this going on I'd be outraged---- and would definitely make referrals but it would probably end up with me being reported and sacked.
There is no logic in this nonsense. If a transman is so triggered and traumatised by the very word “breast”, how come they are absolutely fine with the actual reality of breast feeding their baby from their female breasts?! Surely they would be bottle feeding, and not involved in the argument at all?
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Not to mention the whole pregnancy thing... and giving birth!
@Babdoc trans men can’t breastfeed as they have had their breast tissue removed. It’s not really about them though. It’s about natal men not allowing us to have a single fucking thing for ourselves.
When a transwoman doctor from this specialist area would not feed their own infant (they let their wife feed their child) because of the unknown but likely risks, you know that the doctors allowing this know there is ethical issues. But they do it anyway.
Men have to barge into absolutely every millimetre of female territory, don’t they. Even maternity.
What kind of nutrients could the baby get from this “chemically induced” milk, I wonder? Could it possibly be that the baby’s health and wellbeing is an irrelevance here, because the feelings of the trans parent is all that matters?
This is an almost sociopathic narcissism and deeply disturbing.